Discussing Child Obesity and Nutrition with Rachael Ray
On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to meet with Rachael Ray, host of 30 Minute Meals on the Food Network, to discuss child obesity and poor nutrition, two major contributors to health and developmental problems. Our conversation focused on a number of interrelated issues, including nutrition education, access to healthy and affordable food and school breakfast and lunch meals.
The United States has the highest prevalence of obesity among developed nations. Obesity increases the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and arthritis, resulting in estimated yearly costs of over $117 billion.
I appreciate Rachael Ray’s work through her organization Yum-o and the attention she is paying to the food-related issues we are facing. There are countless people throughout Pennsylvania who work on these issues and I appreciate everything that is being done to reverse the current trends.
I believe that every person is able to make a difference and help to change our current food culture. One way that I am working to address these concerns is to ensure children eat healthy foods. Currently, I am working on addressing these issues as the Senate considers the Child Nutrition Act, the renewing of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and other legislation.
Ending hunger remains one of my top priorities as it cuts across all of the major challenges we are facing, including preventive health care, quality of life for families and the ability of children to take full advantage of educational opportunities.